For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
(Romans 4:13-16 ESV)
Once again, I’m going to go out on a limb here. . . It’s ALL about faith. I know. I’ve said this before and I’m certain to say it again but this point really can’t be stressed enough. Paul, in fact makes it prett obvious that the Law itself does not even apply to non-Jews. Of course, he goes on to say things like they are a law unto themselves but it is into this context that he makes those later comments. The explanation is much more complicated than the concept even for and apostolic genius like Paul, but I’ll do my best to simplify in a the brevity of a blog post.
It’s All about faith.
And since it’s all about faith, and the only true adherents of the law are Jews, there really is no law (except the law of faith) that binds and therfore no sin for believers who are protected by God’s grace.
Here’s the problem as I see it and I believe I am backed up by Chapter Six of this letter. Our faiths are so weak that we cling to sin. We cannot absolutely believe that we are totally saved by Jesus that we hold tightly to the Law and are condemned by our own doing. Such is the evil of legalism which is a form of idolotry.
What? Christians can’t sin? Are they then perfect? Doesn’t the Bible say that we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory?
Yes. No. No, it says that all have sinned…. Not all are sinners. That’s an important distinction.
But these are all wrong questions that miss Paul’s real point. Think something like “That was then and this is now.” Now, is what Paul is concerned with. He uses the past to describe the present. Then, we were bound to the law and condemned by it….in order to show that we are dependent upon God’s grace thogh faith. Now we may place our faith in Christ Jesus and be free to worship and live for God. Then, if we strayed from the Law, we had to perform rituals to make ourselves clean…..Now we stray daily from God’s will but need only to realize this, repent and move forward in Christ. Faith is living in the present, not being dead in our past. God is a God of the living, not the dead. Faith means that you can. Today. Now. If you are a believer, God is in you and with you and nothing can stand in your way.